Well, that's it, I thought. No more concerts till next July, possibly October. But no. Ugly Kid Joe were playing in Southampton in late November, and as we had so much enjoyed them on the Alice tour we thought it would be great to see them again. They played in a small pub with a room upstairs - love these tiny venues. There were some screamers on before, ewww, but luckily it wasn't too long before UKJ came on. The stage was so tiny, there was only just about room for them - no room for Sonny and Whit to do the major leaps we'd come to expect of them, but the sound was great! They did a couple of songs before they spotted us - Sonny pointed us out to Whit - look it's the Alice Cooper guys!! Whit came over and gave me a geat big hug which was lovely!! They played all the songs they had with Alice, and a lot more besides - I'm loving VIP and Neighbour, and Cats In the Cradle.
Next on the concert list were The Lost Angels, aka, Ryan Roxie (Alice's current guitarist) and um........some other people, playing at the Camden Underworld. So of course we had to all go along and support him We met up in the Worlds End pub next door, and the Ryan came in to say hi - got a big hug off him too *big grin*. Weren't sure what to expect but they played lots of covers, mainly really old ones,T Rex, Sweet, Queen, - and they played Alice's 'Man of The Year! Bloody fantastic!! A really great gig, lots of singing along which I love.
And then, roll of drums, Dennis Dunaway, original member of Alice Cooper, and permanent resident of my bedroom wall in the early 70's, was bringing his band, Blue Coupe to the UK. At last, I would get to see him play. Been a big regret of mine that I never saw the original line up live - my parents wouldn't let me go and see the Killer tour, and Billion Dollar Babies never came to the UK. I did get to see Alice do Welcome To My Nightmare at Wembley, but of course they'd split up by then. But I digress.
|You Gotta Fever???|
|John has a rest between bands|
|Just Neal and Mike to get now. Huh.|
Blue Coupe consists of him, along with Albert and Joe Bouchard of Blue Oyster Cult fame, and they would be doing a Rock 'n' Roll Revival weekend at Butlins in Skegness, along a few other gigs. Had originally planned to go to Skeggy, but I left it too late to book anything affordable, so we (of course, Steve was coming too!) settled for Hull and Bilston, and later on they added Banbury, which is not far so that was a must do as well.
Steve and I set off for Bilston, and parked right next to the venue. It was obviously a much used rock venue, all black walls and peeling posters. And Cindy and Dennis were standing in the middle of the room!! He was wearing his flat cap and Cindy was worried that he was getting hat hair, lol. He signed all my album sleeves, and my jacket. Still space on there for Neal and Mike to sign. . . . . . well pigs might fly. They are both lovely people, and it was a real pleasure to meet them.
There was a few Blue Coupe posters up, lasted about 5 minutes, but I wasn't quick enough to get one. Never mind. We sat in the bar while the support was on and then took up rez at the front on the stage. Right next to the speakers. Boy was it loud.
I've forgotten now what they played on which night, the setlist was different each gig. But they did lots of Alice songs, Desperado, Nice Guy, Schools Out, Under My Wheels and BOC stuff, and were generally a lot of fun. I asked Dennis for his guitar pic at the end and he gave it to me. I was looking forward to the following night at Hull, but unfortunately it started to snow really heavily at this point so we abandoned the idea of going. Just as well, we'd've been stuck on the motorway on the way back for about 5 hours.
Still, there was only a few days to go til The Banbury gig. This was in a sort of community centre, quite posh really, and they played a whole load of different songs including an incredible version of Black Juju which of course Dennis wrote. Never thought I'd hear this live, what a treat! Albert did an amazing drum solo which started at the back of the room he was playing the chairs, the floor, the radiators, windows, pretty much anything he could find. Loved the Baby Godzilla story too. And More Cowbell, (Gotta Fever). They spent ages outside with us afterward chatting, taking pics and signing stuff, I did mention playing with Alice again, but although he seems keen, he thinks it won't happen. . . . .shame. . . . Wish I could've gone to the Clitheroe gig, too, becasue they managed to convince Si to get up and play 18/Schools Out with them.
I know they have a new album out soon so I hope he comes back to UK to plug it, I'd love to see him play again.
|Claire's Bears on Tour|
And then it was back to the Camden Underworld to see Keri Kelli (used to be Alice's guitarist) in Love Hate. Met Claire (she is a major Keri fan and has a pic of his guitar tattoed on her leg) at Paddington and we went off to a little B&B which was actually quite nice considering it was so cheap. We lay on our beds, listening to the sounds of the belisha beacon outside the window, after taking pictures of the Alice bears On Tour, together with Claire's KK flag.
Started drinking at about 4 pm, lol, and the evening got more and more blurry - I remember meeting Keri before the gig started, and then not getting near enough to take any decent photos, and not knowing any of the songs, and being astounded that the Underworld doesn't have any wine.....call yerself a pub???? Have no clue what they played, but it didn't detract from the evening at all, lol. After they went off, we blagged our way into the dressing room (well Mandy did and we just followed her, lol), and took some pix with Keri - he seems like a lotta fun.. . . . . . and after hanging around for a while, Keri, Mandy, Claire and I, plus a couple of random females set off to find a pub that was still open. We were wandering about, not really getting anywhere, when Mandy (being the only sober one) went back for her car and drove us around til we found one. I vaguely remember all climbing into a taxi at one point too, and driving off, leaving somebody behind, but I cannot for the life of me think why!
Eventually we ended up at some club which was having a deafening 60's night. I will never forget the sight of Claire trying to show Keri how to dance to old R'n'R, it was hilarious. And at one point he went up to the DJ and asked them to play Alice!!! I guess they probably said 'who's she' lol - they were all 'young people'. . . . . . .
I'm guessing Mandy took us back to the hotel before she went off home, where we discovered that it was 4 am, and that we had been drinking for 12 hours. Luckily I seem to run on adrenaline for these occasions, collapsing when I get home. Breakfast was at some unearthly hour, so we dragged ourselves out of bed and went down in our pyjamas lol. Was pretty good breakfast if I remember rightly! Then I completely miscalculated how much time I had before I was due to catch my train, resulting in a fevered dash up and down the wretched concourse at Paddington trying to find out which platform I should be on. I ran some poor woman over in my haste and only made my train by about a minute, and then felt ill all the way home, having a major coughing fit, and being given drinks and stuff by my neighbours!! Felt like crap much of the next day too actually. But I wouldn't have missed it for anything - a night out with Claire is always a lot of fun, specially if you throw Keri Kelli into the mix. . . . . .